New Mexico has gotten a lot of attention for its growing film industry. But television production isn’t far behind, laboring quietly in the shadow of more high-profile, star-driven Hollywood features. Recently, a wave of gourmet TV shows has directed attention to our state’s unique food culture.
Watch and Eat
Southeast Albuquerque’s Southern cooking favorite Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles, for example, is the subject of a newly shot episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Host Guy Fieri has been to Albuquerque before and has gorged himself at such legendary local joints as Monte Carlo Steakhouse, Bocadillo’s, Nexus Brewery and Sophia’s Place. The owners of Frank’s Famous announced on Facebook that the restaurant will host a viewing party for the new episode when it airs on Friday, Dec. 17. The Albuquerque-centric episode of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” starts at 8pm. Show up early, secure a table and order yourself a big plate of chicken and waffles to enjoy while the episode unspools. It beats watching the show at home and wishing you had some of Frank’s hot and delicious chicken, catfish or grits. Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles is located at 400 Washington St. SE.
Dinner With Friends
Sopapilla Productions, the appropriately named production company from Keith Allen and Felicia Masias, has just started releasing Season 2 of its Duke City dining series “Enchanted Foods of ABQ.” The foodie series, which airs on YouTube, focuses on small, independent restaurants in Albuquerque—many of which have struggled to keep business afloat during the pandemic. Six local restaurants will be highlighted in this second season, with new episodes posted every week. So far Allen and Masias, who also host the show, have profiled Grandma’s K&I Diner and The Ivy Tea Room on their quest to “find the most delicious and unique foods the Duke City has to offer.” You can check out past Season 1 episodes (including Rebel Donut, La Finica Bowland and Golden Crown Panaderia) and the new Season 2 episodes of “Enchanted Foods of ABQ” on Sopapilla’s YouTube channel youtube.com/c/SopapillaProductions/featured.
Just (Tiny) Desserts
Earlier this month the New Mexico Film Office announced that a new cooking show competition would be shot here in the state. “Easy-Bake Battle” asks chefs to create delicious and dazzling food items in—as the title suggests—an Easy-Bake toy oven. The show is being directed by Shanra Kehl, who has helmed episodes of “Top Chef Family Style” and “Top Chef Amateurs.” Both of those shows are produced by Bravo TV, so it seems likely that the new series will air there as well—although a premiere date has yet to be announced. The fun-sized baking show is currently filming in Albuquerque and is expected to employ approximately 45 New Mexico crew members.